lawyer speaking to a jury

As of 2019, jurors get paid $20 a day and are eligible to receive travel compensation of $0.54 per mile for their roundtrip transportation costs from home to the courthouse. The Minnesota Supreme Court determines how much jurors should be compensated for their time in the courtroom.

In Minnesota, employers are not required to pay employees for days they miss due to jury duty. Some companies do give workers special “jury duty” days they can use like sick days, vacation days or personal time when they have jury duty. This allows workers to continue getting paid their normal wage without having to sacrifice personal days to appear for jury duty.

If you’ve been called to jury duty and you’re concerned about compensation, you should check with your employer’s Human Resources department to learn about your options.

Is It Illegal to Not Go to Jury Duty in Minnesota?

Yes. Failing to appear as directed without good cause is a misdemeanor offense and can potentially result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. Failing to appear for jury duty is a more serious charge than most traffic infractions, which are usually only petty misdemeanor offenses.

How Many People Are Needed for a Jury?

It depends on the trial. Any felony case requires 12 jury members, while other civil and criminal trials must have at least six jurors.

What Are the Legitimate Reasons to Be Excused from Jury Duty?

You can request to be excused from jury duty if you are:

  • 70 years of age or older
  • A member, officer or employee of the legislature
  • Suffering from a condition or disability that impairs your ability to perform juror duties
  • In a situation where being on a jury would be a continuing hardship

Can You Get Your Jury Service Deferred?

You may be able to successfully request deferral for jury service. Some of the reasons you can use to request temporary jury service deferral include things like:

  • Vacation plans
  • Conflicts with your job
  • Previously scheduled medical appointments on your ordered jury duty date
  • Problems arranging childcare on your jury duty date
  • Temporary health problems

Employers in Minnesota are forbidden from penalizing workers for missing work due to jury duty, so you likely won’t be able to get permanently excused from jury duty by telling the court that you’ll lose your job if you were put on a jury.

In fact, it’s a criminal matter if an employer fires or penalizes a worker who goes to jury duty. Employers who do so could face a $700 fine and up to six months of imprisonment. Any employee who thinks they were fired or punished because of jury duty has 30 days to file a civil case against their employer. These workers may be able to win lost wages or even ask the court to force their employer to hire them back.

What Did I Do to Get Summoned for Jury Duty?

Minnesotans are automatically put into the state’s juror pool once they register to vote, get a state ID or receive a state drivers’ license. It’s illegal to exclude Minnesota citizens from juries for any of the following factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Economic status
  • Physical or sensory disabilities

Anyone who is at least 18 years old and is registered to vote, has an official state ID or a drivers’ license could potentially be called. The only people who aren’t eligible for jury duty are those who are:

  • Under sentence for a felony conviction (including on probation or parole)
  • A former juror who has already done jury duty in the past four years
  • Judges who serve in the judicial branch

What Are My Chances for Being Selected for a Jury?

During the selection process, known as voir dire, dozens of prospective jurors will sit in a room and be questioned by the defendant’s lawyer and the prosecutor or plaintiff’s lawyer. Voir dire is presided over by a judge.

During this process, the lawyers will attempt to gauge each prospective juror’s outlook on the legal issues pertaining to the case. The court will also be looking for juror biases, prejudices or existing relationships/opinions about the case and any of the parties involved to determine which jurors would be inappropriate for the case.

Depending on the type of case, six to 12 of those prospective jurors will then be chosen for the trial’s jury.

Do You Have Legal Needs Pertaining to Jury Duty?

Although people do not typically need a lawyer for issues relating to jury duty, it does happen on occasion. People might be facing criminal charges for dodging jury duty or they may have experienced illegal employment harassment or termination due to their participation in jury duty.

If you have legal issues pertaining to jury duty, the lawyer referral counselors at the Minnesota Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help you find an appropriate lawyer.

Fill out our referral form online or call us at (612) 752-6699 to speak with a referral counselor.